Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Agave flower spike sighting

This morning I finally had the chance to photograph the massive flower spike of an Agave parryi I had spotted a few weeks ago. While you occasionally see large Agave americana flowering on rural properties outside of town, agaves in bloom are a rarity in residential neighborhoods.

This is the vista that originally caught my eye:

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At first glance, it looks like the flower spike comes from the Agave americana in the front. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that it’s actually from an Agave parryi behind it.

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The flowers on the lower side branches have already faded but the ones towards the top are in their prime. I wonder if they attract hummingbirds? They sure look like they should.

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But this blooming Agave parryi isn’t the only interesting plant here. There also are two variegated Agave americana on the left, a regular Agave americana on the right, and an absolutely stunning palo verde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata or Parkinsonia microphylla) in between.

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I would have loved to explore this front yard more but, to be honest, I’m hesitant to trespass on private property so I limited myself to what I could see from the sidewalk.

12 comments:

  1. You could try knocking on the door.....

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  2. That Parryi is well hidden behind the americana indeed, giving the illusion that it's the americana that's flowering.

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    1. I also like this optical illusion. Totally coincidental but still...

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  3. Quite impressive! I can see one reason why flower spikes are rare in suburban yards: they make a bit of a mess, don't they? I can almost hear people calling their landscapers: "one of those messy flower spikes is forming -- can you remove it before it gets too tall?"

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    1. There's a clump of Agave americana in front of a rural property I sometimes drive by, and they whacked back the two massive flower spikes that were forming. Didn't deter the agaves. The spikes are now 10 ft tall but the top, where the actual flowers would form, are gone. Bizarre sight.

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  4. Think what an agave collection they could build by getting rid of that front lawn...

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    1. I agree. But the fact that they're planting agaves and other succulents is a great first step.

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  5. Wow, wow and wow! How incredible! That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'll check back in a month or so to see what's happened.

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  6. Because of its compact size, plus its low water use and low maintenance, it is considered as a good landscaping plant.

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  7. We had one as well, but in Central Europe it is real pain to take them and store them inside during the winter... They look much better where they can grow outside all year round :) Lovely plant and great shots.

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